Myanmar is a country that’s been unseen by most of the world due to 50 years of military rule. Because of this, it proved to be one of the most culturally intact places we've visited in nearly two years on the road. Men and women dressed in longyis, traditional wraparound ankle-length skirts, and nearly every woman's face was painted with thanaka , a paste made from tree bark. Worn as both a beauty product and sunscreen, the painted circles, lines and squares were a bit jarring at first, but I gradually came to find it a beautiful example of the country’s authenticity. The military dictatorship officially ended this past March when a new government was sworn in. I'm not sure if it was because the country had recently emerged from its repressed state, but the sunrises we observed in Myanmar's ancient city of Bagan appeared especially beautiful and full of hope. We visited during May, the hottest part of the year, and each day the temperature rose to an unbearable 110 degrees. Several days, we opted to explore Bagan by "electric bicycle" (which turned out to be more like a scooter) and had a blast weaving through the plain of temples on near-desolate dirt roads. We went out during sunrise and sunset and did as the Burmese do during midday: a whole lot of sitting still. Many times we found ourselves musing aloud how we felt as if we'd been transplanted into another world. It will be interesting, and a bit sad, to observe how the country's rich culture evolves and changes with influence from the outside world.
« Previous PostRide to Relief - Bicycle Times #41 Next Post »Bring This, Leave That - Bicycle Times #42
Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.
Amazing!! I can’t even tell you how many times I tell people about you — it’ll just randomly come up in conversation, careers, life paths, travel, etc., and I’m always like you know this girl I used to work with has the most amazing and interesting life. And then I tell them about you and your husband’s travels and how much I love following along on Facebook. It takes a lot of courage and guts to go on an adventure like you two have and it’s so phenomenal to see your posts about it. Thank you for enlarging my view of the world by taking me to places I’ll probably never see in person 🙂
Colleen! You are the sweetest ever! I’m so happy you’ve enjoyed following our travels. It’s been an incredible ride for sure and I’m so sad to see it coming to an end soon … but looking forward to future adventures! Hope you are doing fabulous! Thank you so much for your sweet words. You made my day. 🙂
I am in southeast asia making a loop from the south of Thailand through Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos then back to northern Thailand. When in Bangkok I asked the Myanmar embassy if it is possible to cycle through to India. They said “no”. Can you give me a bit of info on how you went about getting approved to ride through restricted areas? Or did you use other transit through those areas?
I was thinking of visiting Myanmar in the beginning of July. Is it worth visiting Myanmar( Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan and Inle Lake) in July? I know that it is supposed to be the raining season, but does it rains a lot?